Things That Matter: A definition

I’ve been reflecting on heroes that have impacted my life (since this month is dedicated to sharing the stories of heroism), but I stumbled across something in the process.  A definition of a hero.




a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. “a war hero”

For some reason I couldn’t shake how wrong I felt this definition was.   Not wrong as in none of it was true, but wrong in that it just didn’t feel right when I read over it.   For a couple of reasons actually.
First, I disagree that heroes are typically men.  And, I don’t think I need to explain why I disagree with that component–or that anyone will challenge me on it.  Clearly there are plenty of woman heroes.
Secondly, I think the word “idealized” doesn’t fit.  When I read this word–worship more comes to mind.  I don’t worship heroes, I respect them.   And so, it’s really a different feeling completely.
Thirdly, I really feel this definition is speaking to more of our day-to-day social roles where we see heroes, like our local Firefighters, Policeman, Doctors, etc.  I agree–all of the people in these professions are heroes, but I also think teachers, the person on the sidewalk, your neighbor, nurses, and musicians are heroes too.  So, here is my working new working definition.

A person, who is admired and respected for acts of bravery, genuine kindness, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

It will come as no surprise for many that know me, my hero has always been my father (Dr. Kevin H. Michael).  And, instead of listing of 1,000 reasons why–I’ll leave you with his most famous quote that he spread into the world:


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